By Jeff Mooney
I have always found my visit to the grocery store an interesting situation. Each and every time I go to the grocery store I can’t help but notice how many people spend their time walking up and down every isle with no idea of what they are looking for. They will walk up and down 3 or 4 isles, not picking up a single item… or better yet they will revisit the same isle multiple times with out picking up an item. I am confident in saying that some of these people will get home and realize they forgot to pick up half the things they went to the store for… and yes I bet you more times than not those items are in the very isles in which they walked up and down many times. It is amazing how going to a grocery store with something as simple as a written list can not only ensure you leave with everything you need, but also speed up the time in which it takes you to do so. If you are a coach and are not using any form of seasonal planning, I am very confident in saying that you “walk the isles” wasting much of your valuable time.
Planning is often times thought as something that volunteers’ coaches don’t have time for. From experience I have found that the reality is, volunteer coaches have so little time that they absolutely need to plan! As coaches we have limited time to make the dramatic improvements we envision for our athletes. To spend time walking down the wrong isles, or simply forgetting critical items all together, is not a way to achieve success for our athletes.
To help with seasonal planning, coaches need to answer the following questions:
- What are my personal objectives as a coach
- What are the team’s objectives
- What access to I have to facilities ( do I have a choice in my training frequency)
- What is the level of engagement of my athletes
- What equipment will be available
- Do I have the help of assistant coaches…
Then fill out your plan with the following information:
- list of all tournaments *objectives established for each tournament
- list of all practices *areas of focus for each practice
- list of all off court training sessions *conditioning, mental prep, etc…
- Administrative items *parent meetings, player interviews, etc…
By simply completing these items in your plan a clearer BIG picture will be achieved.
Seasonal plans can take on many shapes and levels of complexity. But they all have the common principle of defining a strategy on how a team can best achieve their objectives.
So before you start your season, ensure that you don’t “walk the isles” for month and month only to forget important items behind. Oh yeah, don’t fall for those impulse items at the check out line… They are rarely what you actually need.